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Leg Numbness after a Discectomy/Laminectomy

lilmamallilmama Posts: 61
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, my name is Alison, I am 23 and I just had a discectomy/lamintectomy on L5, S1, and S2 on August 6th. I am wonderig if anyone has any stories or ecxperiences with leg numbness and tingling after the surgery. My surgeon said that the nerve was badly bruised and a bit damaged and to expect to have a little numbness and tingling. I just wonder how long it lasts? And if there are any of you that will share your recovery stories and experiences with me.


  • It is very common to experience numbness and pain after surgery. The nerves do take a beating. Just follow your doctor's orders and keep a journal of what hurts and what tingles etc. Then next time you see your doc you will be able to give him a better picture.

    I have a spot on my outer thigh that has been numb since surgery in 2005. It has slowly gotten smaller over the years and I'm pretty certain it will eventually go away completely.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • Hi, Alison

    I am new here, just had my surgery Tuesday, and called my Dr. yesterday asking the same question. I have a one inch row of complete numbness on each leg that runs from hip clear into my toes! Kinda scary but he said that is completely normal. I hope you are feeling better....if you need anyone to talk through recovery with,feel free to PM me...don't know much but can absolutely sympathize!
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  • I had fusion at L4-5 and several discectomies and other "clean up" on July 29. The reason I was in surgery to begin with was excrutiating pain in the right leg and foot and spondylolisthesis. Three days after surgery I noticed that my left front thigh was tingling and numb. Since then not only is it numb it has become painful to the touch. If I set something on my lap it hurts! My doctor said it is normal to experience new numbness after the nerves have been moved around so much. I think I am surprised by the extent of it. I am most worried about a pretty intense pain in the crease between my thigh and groin area. I am also wondering how long this will last and if I should contact my doctor.
  • how long the numbing will last. Everyone is so different and it takes time to heal so the thing that I found to help me is to write down the symptoms on a daily basis to keep track of what changes occur so when you go back for a follow-up with your doctor your diary will help you communicate the extent of the numbness and/or pain.
    You all are so fresh out of surgery that you need to give it time to recover. These nerves only grow about an inch a month once they are messed with so it will take time and unfortunately longer than you were told.
  • Swelling starts to ramp up a few days after surgery.
    Right before the surgeon closes the surgical site, he dumps in meds in to help with inflammation and swelling. This effect wears off eventually and it is noticeable.

    After my L5-S1 microdiscectomy the inflamation was soooo bad. It really compressed my nerve. So bad that I was in bed for a 3-4 weeks. Finally, I got an ESI (epidural steroid injection) and it resolved all the inflamation, swelling and edema.

    After my L4-L5, the leg numbness and tingling took about 6 months to go away and the nerves to remember how to be normal.

    *every case is different.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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  • i had my first operation in 1996/7 and my leg pain went straight after the operation ...but i still had mild/moderate back ache...after about 4 years the leg pain returned and the back ache got worse ..so much so that if was interfering with sleeping and other daily aspects of living .anyway a few years later S1 went and i was in hospital having S1 bilateral discectomy and a redo of the L4/5 laminectomy {i also have L3/4 disc problems but they have not been operated on again yet}.since my last operation about 22 months ago i have been very ill and in terrible pain ..i have evil back ache and constant leg pain .i have been told that i have facet joint hypertrophy on many levels and after going through the pain clinic regime i am now just taking large amounts of Oxycontin for the pain as nothing else touches it .so as you can see you can never tell how long it takes to heal ..i would say that because you are having leg pain that you may take a long time to recover ..i hope i am wrong for your sake ..try a good TENS get yourself a comfy bed and don't over do things .
  • Thank you all for your replies! It's good to hear that it's common to experience leg numbness and tingling. It's not painful, its just a feeling that I'm not used to. Sometimes it feels like a rubberband when I stand up. It's kind of a scary feeling. Other than that, the recovery is going well. Not too much pain as long as I stay on top of my pain meds.
  • I am one month post surgery for a C3-C5 Laminectomy and Fusion...am having tingling in legs and feet that started before surgery, I addition to right arm numbness...anyone out there with similar symptoms? Recovery time and reduction in symptoms?
  • mojo55mmojo55 Posts: 4
    edited 08/11/2014 - 11:54 AM
    I had severe sciatic pain about five years ago, had MRI and told I had bulging discs, had physio which was useless and had chiro which worked for me. Sadly it has now come back with a vengeance I cannot stand for more than about 10 seconds or walk for more than a minute without severe pain. I have tried chiro again but doesn't seem to be doing any good at all this time. I am terrified at the thought of surgery . Does anyone have any suggestions
  • NathanValleNNathanValle Posts: 1
    edited 02/25/2015 - 8:38 PM
    It has been six months now since I had surgery to relieve my pinched nerve at L5-S1, I still have a lot of numbness on my right side buttcheek, whole back of my thigh, side of my lower leg, and my heel going up to my last three toes, which makes me have to walk with a cane. I am only 27 and was wondering if any body has had any complications from the numbness.
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